This weekend we celebrated the first birthday of our friends’ son. As the celebration went on, I reflected a bit. It didn’t seem too long ago that we celebrated similar occasions for our children. And “seem” is the keyword here. Our daughter is twenty and our son 14! So it has been a while but still doesn’t seem that long ago. Children grow up fast and sometimes precious moments are lost in the hustle and bustle of life.
In infancy and the early years, children follow their parents and look up to them. The kids are a step behind. That’s the stage when parents need to press the pause button frequently, in whatever they are doing in their lives, to turn around and cherish the little things that toddlers will do. Before you know it, children will be all grown and walking besides us. All we can do from there on is to try to keep up with them.
In the early childhood years, it’s important to enjoy our children. And the most important thing to remember—let them be children. Kids will do things that only kids will. They’ll yell, spill, scream, make a mess etc. etc. It’s futile to try to clean your house with a three-year-old running around. It’s like shoveling your driveway before it has stopped snowing! But there has to be a balance between what freedom a child is given and where to draw the line. But we always must realize that while we try to teach children all about life, they teach us what life is all about.
We worry about what our child will become tomorrow, yet we sometimes forget that he or she is someone today. In our society today, there is a tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are steadily expanded with lofty expectations, while those of adults are progressively constricted. And often this results in insecure children and childish adults! Well, that’s where parenting steps in. A child doesn’t come with a manual and bringing up children is a hands-on experience. That is the reason parenting is hectic and busy, but also rewarding.
“You know your children are growing up when they stop asking you where they came from and stop telling you where they are going!!”